Valentine's Day is all about love and romance. Have you ever wondered where this Hallmark holiday came from? You'd better grab a glass of wine (or chocolate, not judgement here) and settle in because Valentine's Day is a weird story.
Lupercalia, an ancient Roman festival celebrated in mid-February, is the origin of Valentine's Day. The festival, which included sacrifices of goats and dogs, was meant to ensure fertility and ward off evil spirits. But what's the real highlight? It's matchmaking. Young men would draw the names of women from a box and the couple would be paired together for the duration of the festival. Talk about a modern-day dating app, huh?
In the middle ages, Valentine's Day took shape as we know it today. Saint Valentine, a martyr executed for performing secret marriages for Christian couples during the Roman Empire, is credited with the Catholic Church's celebration of Lupercalia because of its romantic themes.
That's not all! Today's Valentine's Day, with chocolates, flowers, and Hallmark cards, actually dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. This is when mass-produced cards and gifts made Valentine's Day a commercial holiday.
Here's the bizarre and convoluted history of Valentine's Day. But let's embrace it for what it is: a day to celebrate love and romance. Maybe a little matchmaking too.